4 Days in the Life of a STLFW Blogger

Move over New York City. St. Louis is positioning itself to be a major player in the fashion game. And, the recent Saint Louis Fashion Week (STLFW), four days of high caliber fashion experiences, took four big steps in that direction.

Thanks to the Midwest Influencer Network and a few generous sponsors, I got to experience STLFW the best way possible, as a member of a VIP blogger squad.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

Get a glimpse of the experience by following along below.

Day One

5:00 p.m.: I head to the Tiny Bar for happy hour. There, I meet up with some familiar faces and help welcome the out of town bloggers to St. Louis. Signature cocktails. Bloggers dressed to the nines. This happy hour was the perfect start to an amazing night. By the way, you must try the Tiny Bar’s Manhattan.

6:35 p.m.: I drive to the St. Louis Union Station for the Caleres Emerging Designer Competition. Wow! I’ve never seen so many stylish people in one place in St. Louis. I have just enough time to be whisked to my seat. You can see my favorite designs and find out who won the competition in my Saint Louis Fashion Week Recap

Photo Credit: Ashley Lear

9:00 p.m.: The runway event is over. I catch up with some blogger friends I haven’t seen in a while. We hang out for a bit, and then I head to Three Sixty to enjoy dinner and the best view of downtown St. Louis from the roof of the Hilton. The night’s dinner was brought to us by Socially Jen, a social media and marketing boutique.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

Day Two

10:00 a.m.: A subset of the blogger crew gets an advanced tour of Naturalizer’s latest collection at the St. Louis Galleria store. Wait until you see the super chic Naturalizer “Harbor” boots, which I’ll be featuring in a post next week.

11:30 a.m.: Did you watch Resale Royalty? If so, you’re familiar with Sue McCarthy and her daughters, owners of Women’s Closet Exchange and The Vault, designer resale shops in St. Louis. As a fan of the show and the stores, I was especially excited about our next stop—The Vault. Here I am chatting with fellow bloggers while we take a quick shopping break.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

5:00 p.m.: After a break for a meeting, I reconnect with the crew for happy hour and dinner at Element, a restaurant and lounge that encourages family style dining by offering shareable small and large plates. The dinner was supported by a new jewelry line, Collections by Joya, that I was excited to learn about. Here I am listening to a brief presentation by the owner of Collections by Joya, who explained how proceeds from the company benefit women’s charities around the world.

8:15 p.m.: Several courses later, the blogger dinner is a wrap. We head to The Luminary to catch the end of the STLFW Wear It: Fashion Challenge. We get there just in time to see St. Louis designer, Nasheli Ortiz, announced as the winner of the $5000 prize. Here I am with Julia completing quick edits on a few snaps from the event that I’m about to tweet.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

Day Three

11:00 a.m.: Day three starts at Lu Lu Seafood for Dim Sum. I used to eat at Lu Lu all the time when I first lived in St. Louis while attending graduate school. The food was as delicious as I remembered.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

5:00 p.m.: I left the blogger crew after Dim Sum and joined them later for happy hour at Fauxgerty, a vegan leather outerwear brand. What can I say? I felt at home in this store. Heidi and I instantly fell in love with these herbivore sweatshirts that we picked up. Vegans unite!

6:45 p.m.: While we were at Fauxgerty, the Fantich and Young exhibit at Projects+Gallery kicked off. So we headed straight there. The exhibit was creepy and cool. Do yourself a favor and click through to the Apex Predator | Darwinian Voodoo exhibit to see what Carmen and I couldn’t stop photographing.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

7:30 p.m.: After making the rounds at the exhibit, I headed to dinner and a discussion at Central Table sponsored by the Missouri Eating Disorders Council. I was so moved by the firsthand accounts of people whose lives were directly affected by eating disorders, an illness prevalent in the fashion industry. Here’s our group actively listening and receiving a wealth of information from the discussion that night.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

Day Four

5:30 p.m.: On day four, I’m unable to make the popup shop events in the morning because I teach my fitness classes at the same time. I’m excited, though, to reconnect with the girls for dinner at Budweiser Brew House. I was surprised to learn about the delectable menu, prepared by a chef with particular beer pairings in mind. The chef whipped up a tasty vegan entree just for me. I ate every single bite.

Photo credit: Ashley Kuenstler

After dinner, our crew got an exclusive tour of Ballpark Village, and then toasted to a fantastic Saint Louis Fashion Week at Howl at the Moon.

What a week! Thanks again to the Midwest Influencer Network and all the brands that made this experience so enjoyable.

Saint Louis Fashion Week Recap

Lights, cameras, fashion! Saint Louis Fashion Week (STLFW) kicked off last night and so much happened in that first night. Five talented designers, all competing for the prestigious $25,000 Caleres Emerging Designer Award, presented collections. 

St. Louis’ most stylish came out to mix and mingle with fashion icons like Iris Apfel. Several VIP bloggers were in the house live covering the night on their social media channels. And, it all went down at St. Louis Union Station Midway, a venue that can now brag it hosted one of the longest runways ever at STLFW.

Meet the five competing designers, see highlights from their collections, and find out who took home the $25,000 Caleres Emerging Designer cash prize.

1. Jordana Warmflash of NOVIS

2. Azede Jean-Pierre

3. Julie Haus and Jason Alkire of Haus Alkire

4. Katharine Polk of Houghton

5. Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta of Eckhaus Latta

After a brief deliberation, the competition judges—James LaForce, Lisa Perry, Tomoko Ogura, Gary Wessner, Fern Mallis, and Debra Bass—announced Houghton the 2015-2016 Caleres Emerging Designer Award winner.

Watch a video of the Houghton collection on the runway. Follow #STLFW for more highlights.

Photography by Psyche Southwell

Join Me: Kendra Scott St. Louis Happy Hour

Kendra Scott is finally here in St. Louis! A brand new Kendra Scott store just opened in Plaza Frontenac. And, you just have to see it. I’ll be there next Tuesday for a happy hour, and you’re invited too. Come through, enjoy some sips, sweets, and good company.

Happy Hour at Kendra Scott St. Louis

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.



This week, Kendra Scott launched its new winter collection, Mirror Mirror. This collection beautifully captures the magic of winter by using sparkling drusy stones, mirrored rock crystals, and even Kyocera opals. Here’s a sneak peek of the collection in the Kendra Scott St. Louis store.

Not near a Kendra Scott store? The collection is now available online. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

Wyatt necklacePerla earrings | Jordan ringWylie necklace

More from Kendra Scott’s Mirror Mirror Collection:

Soon Come: Style Weekend St. Kitts

It’s September, which means we’re that much closer to Style Weekend St. Kitts, going down on November 6th to 8th, 2015. Picture this. Three exciting days of upscale parties and posh style events in paradise.

To find out even more about Style Weekend St. Kitts, check out my interview with creator, Winnielle Pereira. If you’re in St. Kitts, be sure to catch the Style Weekend St. Kitts media launch and party on September 7. Not in St. Kitts? Get daily inspiration to pack your bags and head there by following Style Weekend St. Kitts on Instagram.

A couple snaps from a recent Style Weekend St. Kitts photo shoot:

Director: Ms Winnielle | Photos: CreateOne Media | Designer: Shirrine Gilon

Makeup: Alluring Elements of Beauty and ViKreations
Models: Anastasha, Denuala, Dr. Merisa Grant

Location: Romney Manor

Redbook’s September Issue Reaches St. Louis!

It’s here! It’s here! I walked into my favorite Barnes & Noble store this morning, and there it was. Redbook’s September issue. Sitting right in the middle of the women’s interest magazines.

The cashier at the register was curious as to why I was purchasing so many copies. When I showed her that I was on the cover, she was ecstatic and beamed with St. Louis pride. All of the customers in line gathered around. They were really happy to see a fellow St. Louisan on the cover. They were more thrilled with the notion that women who look just like them have gotten recognized in such a big way.

Barnes & Noble at Ladue Crossing

Let’s make today a #RealWomenTakeover. If you see the issue at your favorite newsstand, snap a pic, share on social media, and tag me. Here’s where you can find me:

Facebook: @economyofstyle

Instagram: @economyofstyle 

Twitter: @economyofstyle

I know you’ve got great style too. When you share your favorite outfit of the day on social media, use the #RealStyleRealBeauty hashtag to join this movement.

Related: The Road to Redbook’s September Cover